Sacramento Kings point guard Rajon Rondo has had something of a revival this season, leading the NBA in assists and showing more spark and vitality in general on the court than he did in his last couple of season in Boston — and certainly more than his disastrous partial season in Dallas. But he’s still Rajon Rondo, which means he’s still prone to bouts of ill temper. That side of him reared its ugly head in Mexico City on Thursday during the Kings’ 114-97 loss at the hands of the Boston Celtics.
In the third quarter, with the Kings already down 20 points, DeMarcus Cousins — who had an ugly game and is still working his into game shape after a back injury — was called for a foul on the block, which he, being DeMarcus Cousins, vehemently disagreed with. After Jae Crowder’s first free throw, Rondo got in on the act, and picked up a technical for it — and that’s when it really got bad.
Longer video doesn’t show the initial technical, but you can see referee Bill Kennedy walking away from Rondo, warning him not to follow. But Rondo walks straight up to him just to stare him down, and that’s all it took.
Honestly, it’s hard to argue Rondo didn’t deserve it. We don’t know how he got the first technical, but any tech is a warning to cool off, and Rondo ignored Kennedy’s directives to stay on the other side of the court. Rondo wanted to show Kennedy up and got tossed for it.
Even though the Kings sit at 7-13, they’ve shown encouraging signs. Cousins has just enough of a 3-point shot to draw defenders out of the paint, which just adds to his beastly offensive game. Darren Collison and Marco Bellinelli are skilled players on the perimeter, and Willie Cauley-Stein looks great on defense, if a little foul-happy. (Cauley-Stein’s also now out 4-6 weeks with a “sustained open dislocation of right index finger.” Yikes!). Rondo’s also played very well (even shooting a respectable 36 percent from three! The Houston Rockets would kill for a shooter like Rondo right now), but his problem is the Kings’ problem — for all their talent, the personalities on the team make them one of the most likely squads in the NBA to have an emotional meltdown.
(GIF via r/NBA)